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An accessible new learning portal for the children’s sector launches

An accessible new online learning portal which aims to support practitioners working across children’s services in Scotland launches today (Monday 18 March 2024).

The portal was developed by The Open University (OU) in Scotland in partnership with Children in Scotland and sees the two organisations combining their shared expertise in education to support the upskilling of the children’s sector and help improve the lives of children and young people across Scotland.

Offering a wide range of free courses, the portal has been curated to help meet practitioners’ learning needs. Courses are focused in key skill areas including education in the early years, additional support needs and mental health and wellbeing. As well as professional development specific to children’s services, there are also courses in technology, leadership and equality, diversity and inclusion.

The courses have also been chosen to complement Children in Scotland’s comprehensive Learning Programme which includes in-person conferences and residentials, professional diplomas and online webinars (click here for more).

As a globally recognised leader in distanced learning, OU’s online resources offer practitioners the upmost flexibility meaning that each course can be started, paused and restarted again at any-time. Courses range from two to 24 hours and learning can be done in a place most convenient to students.

Simon Massey, Head of Engagement and Learning, Children in Scotland

“From today, we are delighted to invite practitioners to start exploring this new learning portal specifically created for the children’s sector. It has been fantastic working with the team at The Open University to create this exciting new tool. At Children in Scotland, we are committed to developing the children’s sector workforce and, listening to our members and partners, we know that often the time they can commit to professional development is limited. With the flexibility of the courses in this portal, it offers a high-quality and accessible learning tool for many people working across the sector. We hope you enjoy delving into the topics.”

Page Munro, Partnerships Manager, The Open University

“I’m delighted to share our new curated learning portal for practitioners working with children and young people. The Open University and Children in Scotland have worked together to create a fantastic resource for people working across the sector who are looking to gain new skills in a wide range of relevant areas.

 With a wide range of free Open University courses available, there will be something for everyone, no matter where you are in your career. The courses are delivered entirely online and can be completed flexibly in your own time, so they’re perfect for helping you upskill alongside your other work and life commitments. 

You’ll be able to access courses in key subject areas like mental health, early years, additional support needs, leadership and much more. We really hope you’ll find the portal a valuable resource for helping you develop in your career.”

Click here to start exploring the new learning portal


Our new learning portal with OU

Start exploring the wide-ranging courses on the new learning portal

Click here to access

Learn with us

Explore our learning programme which includes in-person events and online training

Click here for more

Children in Scotland's Annual Conference

Find out more about our flagship event at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, on 29 & 30 May 2024.

Click here for more


Find out more about Enquire, the national advice and information service for additional support for learning

Visit the website


The website for young people offers advice and support on accessing their rights

Visit the website
Image shows the cover of issue 5 of Insight, the magazine for members of Children in Scotland. The colourful illustration image depicts three young people held up by a giant hand, while a spotlight shines down from above

Issue 5 (autumn 2023)

Published November 2023

Inspired by our contributors, the theme of this fifth issue of 'Insight' is “young voices” with many articles and features exploring the importance of listening to young Scots to improve our work and their lives.

In our four-page Changemakers interview, for example, best-selling author, Mikaela Loach, shares her journey from teen activist to fighting for climate justice on a world stage, and discusses why young people are vital to the environmental movement. The 25-year-old explained: “When it comes to climate crisis, young voices in particular are so important. We are one of the most impacted groups in this world, and we are going to be impacted disproportionately by this crisis. It’s so important that we do speak out, and realise that so many of the liberties and freedoms that we have now are because other people chose to be brave.”

Also within Changemakers, Gregory Metcalfe, from Children’s Parliament, explores a special project which is placing children’s views at the forefront of AI implementation in Scotland, while in the Perspectives section, Henry Mathias, Head of Professional Standards and Practice at The Care Inspectorate, discusses the potential of the Bairns’ Hoose model, which recovery, support and justice come together under one roof.

Further reading within this issue:

  • An interview with Kinny Gardner, Artistic Director of Krazy Kat Theatre, a professional children’s theatre company committed to improving access to arts activities for deaf and disabled children through magical, visual-led productions that go far beyond the spoken word
  • Glasgow Women’s Aid CEO, Angela Devine, celebrates 50 years of the organisation’s hard work supporting women, while examining the issues facing girls and young women today
  • Ali Miller, from Shared Lives Plus, explores an innovative project, which enables parents with additional support needs to care for their child at home
  • Amy Hutton, Director of Services at Cyrenians, discusses Scotland’s housing crisis
  • Children in Scotland’s Head of Policy, Projects and Participation, David Mackay, shares how children and young people are speaking out on health-harming products
  • Marie Harrison, Senior Policy Officer at My Rights, My Say, explains how the service is putting young people’s voices at the heart of its vital work.

With the theme of listening to children and young people’s voices, it was also particularly special to continue our collaboration with students at Edinburgh College of Art. Using their creativity to explore the issues and ideas raised in three articles, as well as the edition’s front cover, a group of fourth year illustration undergraduates showcase not only extraordinary talent, but impressive understanding and sensitivity.

'Insight' is a members’ benefit, with copies included as part of full membership with Children in Scotland. A digital edition can also be accessed via the Member area (log in required).

Not a member?

Click here for more information about membership

Non-members are also invited to subscribe for just £10 per year. To find out more about a digital subscription, email Alice:

At the top there is the Children in Scotland logo and the text 'Insight' There is an illustration of hands sending off paper airplanes into blue sky as the main feature, with text to the left that says 'The sky's the limit, ideas from the people and projects leading change for children today'; 'Levelling up, Pam Duncan-Glaney on hopes for the Transitions Bill'; 'Sorrow and solidarity, Dr Hyab Yohannes on redeeming the stories of refugee families'.

Issue 1 (Autumn 2021)

Published November 2021.

After months in the making we are delighted to publish the first edition of Insight, the new bi-annual publication for members of Children in Scotland.

We are passionate about providing space for reflection, instigating conversation and sharing good practice. With this in mind, Insight brings together voices and ideas from the people and projects driving change across the children's sector.

It communicates the shared ambition for what we can do to give all children in Scotland an equal chance to flourish.

Included in our launch issue:

  • An interview with MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy about her hopes for the Transitions Bill, which aims to provide more support for young people after they leave school
  • Dr Hyab Yohannes on the plight of refugee families
  • SallyAnn Kelly responding to the announcement of the Whole Family Wellbeing Fund
  • Graham Goulden urging investment in quality relationships with boys to ensure they grow up to be respectful men
  • Nourish Scotland’s Stephanie Mander analysing the Good Food Nation Bill.

We also showcase some incredible work from Illustration students at Edinburgh College of Art and profile the work of portrait and documentary photographer, Margaret Mitchell.

Insight is a member benefit, with copies included as part of full membership with Children in Scotland.  A digital edition can also be accessed via the Member area (log in required). 

Not a member? Click here for more information about membership

Non-members are also invited to subscribe for just £10 per year. Click here to start a digital subscription

Categories:  Tags: 
The cover of Insight, with the Children in Scotland logo in the top right corner, and the word 'Insight' in the top left. The middle section is an illustration of a person reading a magazine on a dark background. There is text on the left side, reading 'Turning the page: Why children's futures must mean inclusion in democracy, learning and the arts'; 'People power, Roslyn Neely on the ethos of child first, patient second'; 'Only connect, Angela Morgan on valuing all in education'

Issue 2 (Summer 2022)

Published May 2022

As anyone who works to support children and families in Scotland knows, spinning plates to balance the demands of service delivery with long-term planning never stops. But, as many of the contributors to this edition point out, we also need an opportunity to pause and reassess our goals.

As much of the world feels in turmoil, a new-found sense of community and commitment to partnership working has emerged over the last two years. This edition of Insight is informed by that sense of solidarity and our shared desire to keep children, young people and families at the heart of what we do.

In this issue:

  • We interview Roslyn Neely, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Children's Hospital Charity who tells us more about supporting children and young people in their healthcare journey
  • Angela Morgan urges for us to challenge the status quo for pupils with additional support needs
  • Professor Laura Lundy asks if Scotland can deliver on the promises of the UNCRC
  • Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland reflects on the proposed reforms to the Human Rights Act

We are also delighted to continue our partnership with the Edinburgh College of Art, showcasing work from students on the Postgraduate Illustration course.

Insight is a member benefit, with copies included as part of full membership with Children in Scotland.  A digital edition can also be accessed via the Member area (log in required). 

Not a member?
Click here for more information about membership

Non-members are also invited to subscribe for just £10 per year.
Click here to find out more about a digital subscription

Categories:  Tags: 
Graphic. Front cover of magazine which has been divided into different sized boxes, each featuring a different picture relating to content. Pictiures include building blocks, a house, a tall slide, an empty plate and a butterfly. The top left box includes the three cover lines. 1. Lifetime guarantee, Kenny Murray on equality, love and support for Care Experienced people. 2. The only way is up, Could extending the school starting age be a new chance for young people? 3. Expert panels, how the power of comics can unlock literacy.

Issue 3 (Winter 2022)

Published November 2022.


As we approach the end of the year, the conversation continues around how to mitigate the cost-of-living crisis that is impacting so many families. But as we look to address these new, and growing, challenges we must be mindful not to forget about the old ones.

This latest edition considers some of the challenges facing our most disadvantaged communities. From addressing stigma and campaigning for equality for those who are Care Experienced, to those facing homelessness or dealing with childhood trauma and disadvantage, this issue discusses how we can make progress on addressing some of our society’s most complex challenges.

In this issue:

  • We interview Kenny Murray, Who Cares? Scotland’s Director of Influence and Engagement about why lifelong support for Care Experienced people is vital, and how accountability is key
  • Magic Torch Comics highlight the power of comics in unlocking literacy
  • Dr Lynn McNair explores the opportunity of a later school starting age in Scotland
  • Alison Watson explains why investing in long-term housing security will help thousands of children and families
  • Amy Woodhouse reflects on decades of mental health policies
  • Independent Living Fund Scotland share how the Transition Fund is creating new opportunities for young disabled people

We are also delighted to continue our partnership with the Edinburgh College of Art, showcasing work from students on the Postgraduate Illustration course.

Insight is a member benefit, with copies included as part of full membership with Children in Scotland.  A digital edition can also be accessed via the Member area (log in required). 

Not a member?
Click here for more information about membership

Non-members are also invited to subscribe for just £10 per year.
Click here to find out more about a digital subscription

Categories:  Tags: 
Image shows the cover of issue 4 of Inight magazine, the magazine for members of Children in Scotland. Cover shows colourful illustration image of members from a variety of professions.

Issue 4 (Summer 2023)

Published April 2023

In this edition, we are delighted to extend our Changemakers section to include an interview between our children and young people’s advisory group, Changing our World, and the outgoing Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, Bruce Adamson. Within that conversation, Bruce talks about “creating an amazing culture of children as human rights defenders” and this message of celebrating positive change led by children and young people is carried across our interviews in this edition.
Within ‘Learning & Projects’, we focus on support for young people’s mental health and Children in Scotland’s involvement in the Suicide Prevention Strategy & Action Plan, while the contributors to our ‘Perspectives’ section share views on the legislation we need to see now to improve the lives of children, young people and families in Scotland.

In this issue:

  • We interview Dr Khadija Mohammed, Associate Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of the West of Scotland, former primary school teacher, and Chair of the Scottish Government’s Anti-Racism in Education Programme about the importance of embedding a meaningful understanding of racism across the curriculum and beyond
  • Our children and young people’s advisory group, Changing our World, interviews Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland about the highs and lows of the job as he prepares to leave office
  • We talk about levelling the playing field in the performing arts with theatre-maker Rachel-Jane Morrison
  • Amy Woodhouse discusses the complicated legacy of Nicola Sturgeon and her record on improving the lives of children and families
  • Dr Alison Scott explores approaches to supporting mothers whose children have been removed into care
  • Raza Sadiq challenges the Illegal Migration Bill as an assault on human rights.

We are also delighted to continue our partnership with the Illustration department at Edinburgh College of Art, showcasing work from students on the MA Postgraduate programme.

Insight is a members’ benefit, with copies included as part of full membership with Children in Scotland. A digital edition can also be accessed via the Member area (log in required).

Not a member?

Click here for more information about membership

Non-members are also invited to subscribe for just £10 per year.

To find out more about a digital subscription, email Alice: 

Pakistan's flag flying with a grey sky background. The flag has a white strip on the right, with a moon and star on a green background on the right.

News: Campaign for school-based fundraising for Pakistan floods

Posted 6 September, 2022 by Nina Joynson

A Scotland-based initiative has developed new school materials to teach pupils about Pakistan and encourage fundraising to aid relief efforts.

Following mass flooding that has devastated Pakistan in recent weeks, Global Citizenship Education (GCE) has launched new educational materials to help schools to teach pupils about Pakistan and raise money towards relief work in the country.

The new resources help to teach pupils about modern-day Pakistan and the country's history while combatting stereotypes. It also connects with the Sustainable Development Goals, detailing how Pakistan has been affected by global warming.

Schools are also being encouraged to take part in fundraising throughout September and share their campaigns with GCE through email or social media. All monies raised will go towards the official appeal for relief efforts.

Two days after rolling out the latest campaign, GCE's founder Nuzhat Uthmani announced that Glasgow City Council had agreed to launch the materials across its schools, meaning thousands of pupils will start fundraising and learning about Pakistan in the coming weeks.

2022 floods

Pakistan has been devastated by flooding that began in June. It is now estimated  a third of the country, an area equivalent to the size of the UK, is now under water.

A state of emergency was declared on 25 August, with over 30 million people affected by flooding as a result of heavy monsoon rainfall. The severe consequences to homes, food and crops, livestock, infrastructure, and sanitation have overwhelmed rescue and aid agencies and international assistance has been called on to provide relief.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) formally launched an appeal on 1 September to generate donations towards the rescue and aid mission.

Learning through a global citizenship framework

The resources focused on Pakistan's recent flooding is the latest from the GCE initiative, which compiles resources to help educators to embed the values of global citizenship, sustainability and antiracism in their teaching activities.

Founded in Scotland by Uthmani, the materials are aimed at a primary school audience in a Curriculum for Excellence framework, with guidance towards appropriate materials for older classes.

Click here to learn more about the GCE campaign and start fundraising

Click here to donate directly to the Pakistan Floods Appeal

Evaluation of Community Mental Health Services

April 2022 - October 2022

Scottish Youth Parliament and Children in Scotland supported a group of MSYPs to work as a peer investigation team to evaluate the mental health and wellbeing community support and services for 5–24-year-olds, their parents and carers. 

The investigation team developed and delivered an evaluation framework and report in order to make recommendations to the Scottish Government’s Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Joint Delivery Board (click here to visit) 

The investigation team worked with a range of local authorities across Scotland to evaluate services funded by the Scottish Government as part of its commitment to improve support for children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing in Scotland. 

Children in Scotland staff especially enjoyed supporting the MSYPs to engage with younger children through a range of creative and accessible methodologies. 

If you would like more details, please contact David Mackay,

Partner: Scottish Youth Parliament

A youth-led, democratic organisation which aims to represent the young people of Scotland.

Click to find out more

Looking for Support?

Help and support is available right now for anyone who needs it. No one has to struggle with difficult feelings alone. Click the link below for an NHS list of support services.

Click to find out more

Children's Rights and the UNCRC Training

Bridging Policy and Practice: Bespoke rights training tailored to your organisation’s needs: when, where, and how you want it.  

Children’s Rights Revolution

Scotland is on the road to a children’s rights revolution, with policymakers and practitioners working to embed rights across policy, strategic planning and practice to make Scotland the best country to grow up in.

Embedding rights and incorporating the UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of The Child) into Scots law will have a huge impact on organisations across the country – including public bodies, private sector organisations and third sector organisations. It will include new requirements, updates to policies and changes to practice to make sure children and young people across the country can fully realise their rights.

UNCRC Training Offer

This flexible and tailored training offers a comprehensive introduction to children’s rights in a Scottish context for practitioners across the third sector.

Designed and delivered by Children in Scotland’s experienced and respected Policy, Projects and Participation team, this bespoke training gives practitioners space to reflect on children’s rights in the context of their own practice and consider changes to embed rights more strongly in their day-to-day work. It also gives organisations an opportunity to plan out their next steps to better realise children’s rights in their policies, practices and strategies.

Click here to view a guide to the different training options

This training offers:

  • Access to an e-module designed specifically for third sector professionals to improve their understanding of the UNCRC and children’s rights.
  • Flexible and tailored training: organisations can choose a training length that suits them and have the training tailored for the organisation.

As a training participant, you will gain:

  • A deeper understanding of the background to the UNCRC, and the key articles and principles that underpin it
  • Insight into children’s rights in the Scottish context, including the journey to UNCRC incorporation and the duties
  • The ability to make connections between your practice and the different UNCRC articles, enabling you to grow your rights-based practice
  • Practical tips and signposting to resources and further learning.

Book training

Please contact our Events team at to discuss your child rights training needs.

Children's Rights Training Brochure

Download a brochure which outlines the different training options.

Click here to download

Participation with young people

Learn more about the practice of meaningful participation and engagement with children and young people

Click here to find out more

Our eLearning Hub

We have a range of free online learning courses to support children's rights and the principles of rights-based participation

Click here to find out more

Learning & Events

Want to keep learning? Find out what courses we have on offer in our open learning programme

Click here to explore

What is quality, meaningful participation & engagement?

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is based on four principles of: non-discrimination, in the best interest of the child, children’s views and their right to survival and development.

It clearly maps out children’s rights through 54 Articles, including Article 12: Every child has the right to:

  • express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously.

Click here to find out more about the UNCRC - from our friends at the Commissioner for Children and Young People Scotland

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child describes participation as:

“Ongoing processes, which include information sharing and dialogue between children and adults based on mutual respect, and in which children can learn how their views and those of adults are taken into account and shape the outcome of such processes.”

There are various participation models practitioners may find useful to support their understanding and practice. We would especially draw your attention to the work of Laura Lundy - click here to find out more about this work

Want to learn more around children’s rights and their participation in decision-making?

Why not visit our eLearning Hub and complete our free modules in children’s rights and participation. (click here to visit our eLearning Hub)



There are many useful resources available to support quality participation work.


Our list of fun and engaging icebreakers

Click here to download

Co-Design Blueprint

A Year of Young People 2018 resource

Click here to download

Activate Your Rights

A children and young people's rights activity facilitation pack

Click here to access

We Are Here

A child participation toolbox

Click here to access

Seven Golden Rules

A set of cards that explore the seven golden rules of participatiopn

Click here to access